Forces Motion NGSS MS-PS2-2 Activity Balanced Unbalanced Forces Google Ready


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If you’re teaching Forces and Motion MS-PS2-2, this is a fun, engaging and rigorous resource for that NGSS standard!

This activity makes learning about Balanced/Unbalanced Forces, density and buoyancy fun and it’s a great challenge that the kids really get into! It’s easy prep and the only materials you need are about $.75 in pennies per group, two precut 10x15cm pieces of aluminum foil per group (you can use any size you want but the bigger the piece of foil the more pennies you’ll need) and a bucket full of water.

This activity is approximately 75 minutes of fun from start to finish!

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You get the following:

-15 Slide Google Slideshow

-Lab activity


-Helpful Teacher Notes


What do students do?

-Discus what forces act on a boat that floats and/or sinks using background knowledge.

-Predict how many pennies they can fit on a foil boat before it sinks.

-Draw an engineering sketch of their prototype.

-Make a foil boat and add pennies to it until it sinks.

-Redesign a new boat and sketch.

-Make a second prototype foil boat and add pennies to it until it sinks.

-Answer questions.

-Make a model that has them show how the vocabulary applies to their boats.

Concepts included:

-Buoyant Force

-Balanced Forces

-Unbalanced Forces








The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion. (MS-PS2-2)

Science and Engineering Practices

-Planning and Carrying Out Investigations                            

-Asking Questions and Defining Problems                                

-Analyzing and Interpreting Data       

-Developing and Using Models


-Explanations and Designing Solutions

Crosscutting Concepts

-Cause and Effect

-Structure and Function

Related Products:

Integrated NGSS Middle School Science MEGA Bundle Full Year Google Ready

Forces & Motion MS-PS2-2 STEM Paper Airplane Competition 5E Google Ready

MS-PS2-1: STEM Bottle Rockets PowerPoint Graphic Organizer Close Reading & Notes


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